Something all of us want in our home is to feel safe. No matter where you live, there are some steps that you can take to ensure the safety of you, your family or your housemates depending on your situation. The methods which are used by criminals to carry out burglaries on residential properties do change and adapt to security updates over time. However, the way that target properties are identified remains largely the same. Having efficient security systems and procedures in place is highly effective and is also important to make sure that your home is not perceived as a potential target by burglars.
We have created a guide full of best-practices that you can undertake to help ensure you do not become a target and to help you maximise your property’s security, whether it is a vacant property or indeed one which is occupied or lived in.
How do Burglars Choose Their Targets?
Contrary to popular belief, burglars and thieves do not tend to creep around neighbourhoods late at night to scout out targets; they are most likely to be active between the hours of 9am and 5pm. This is because they understand that most people will be out at work during those hours in the day. Therefore, it is vital that you ensure that when you do leave for work, that all doors and windows are securely secured and locked when you leave your property.
Burglars will often assess a house’s security system before they attempt to enter it. Often, if they feel as though the security system may catch them out, it acts as a deterrent. They will check to see whether the front door is securely locked and being effectively monitored. A burglar will ultimately want know if the point of entry is worth attempting.
If the door is secure or is at all visible from the street and the neighbouring houses, they will likely move on to the rear of the property to seek out a backdoor or window that is less visible and more vulnerable.
A common fault that catches many people out, is when homeowners or tenants leave their keys within reach of the door. If this is the case, burglars can very easily reach through the letter-box or cat flap to get to them. This can be done with tools or they may opt to smash a window if they no one is around.
Secure Vulnerable Entry Points
You should be sure to secure your windows and doors; consider shutters, bars or security grills on your windows that are most vulnerable. You can even consider access control doors or security doors if your budget will allow for it. This way, even if the burglar does manage to smash the glass, there will be little way to actually enter the property. With access control doors, it will be very difficult for anyone to enter your property without the necessary code or key.
CCTV can be found almost everywhere you go, but it is not just for commercial properties. You can also install CCTV in your home this has, in recent years become more popular as prices of installation have dropped. You can purchase cameras on their own, or as a part of a package of DIY security parts. The cost ranges from around £20 to around £450 for the actual cameras themselves, depending on the quality and the features.
You can also get CCTV for both inside and outside your home. If you want to get CCTV outside of your home, you will need to ensure that you comply with privacy laws set out by the UK Government. This entails you needing to make sure that your camera is not pointing into other peoples’ houses, gardens or driveways. It may be a good idea to discuss your plans for CCTV on the outside of your property with your neighbours; some neighbours chose to share CCTV systems with each other to save money.
Intruder Alarm Systems
Your house should ideally have an intruder alarm system in place if you want to make sure it is as secure as possible. For an intruder, the very sight of a burglar alarm can be a deterrent, so it is great to have one in place to avoid any break-in attempts. Having one of these systems will alert you and your neighbours if anyone triggers the system by entering your home. You can also purchase systems which trigger a CCTV video to start recording so that you can see what is going on, via an app, or in the case of monitored alarm systems, they can alert the police or a security company automatically unless turned off within a certain amount of time.